There are those that fast travel, and those that don't. Raised voices broke out in Push Square Towers this week when Robert Ramsey revealed that he walks everywhere in Fallout 4. This led to Sammy Barker using words that can't be repeated on these hallowed pages. The result: a poll to the death to determine who the real crazy person here is. Below we present our arguments, and the opportunity for you to decide our fates.
Sammy Barker, Editor
I like a nice walk. Stretching one's legs in the real-world delivers a delicious dopamine hit which can be calming, uplifting, and mind clearing. I don't, however, have time to comb every single inch of muddy textured terrain in your latest Speedtree-populated open world game. I enjoy a bit of virtual tourism as much as the next guy, but once I've taken the winding path from Sanctuary to Spectacle Island, you can bet your souped-up Power Armour that I ain't doing it again.
I understand the argument for immersion in sandbox games, but you're going to have to ensure that your world is really, really good if you're going to make me manually travel from one end of it to the other over and over again. Some may argue that I'm missing out on the best of the Commonwealth by jumping about Fallout 4 like a backpacker with a jetpack, to which I'd respond: what? I can do without another firefight against a Super Mutant with an explosive American Football, thank you – especially when I'm following Preston's instructions to save a settlement for the umpteenth time.
There are some games that do it better than others, of course; I remember wandering the wilderness in Red Dead Redemption, saving distressed damsels that happened to apparate on my map. But once you've been coaxed into an ambush once, you've seen it all – apart from the gigantic expanses of desert and dandelions that stand in the way between you and your next objective.
And for as dynamic as The Witcher III: Wild Hunt can be at times, I've never felt the need to repeat samey journeys until my brain bursts of boredom. Roach is a mover, of that there's no doubt, but if you think that you're going to get me to ride between Crookback Bog and Crow's Perch multiple times just so that I can get into a scuffle with Drowners, then you've got another thing coming. There's a sign right there and I only need click on it to save my sanity. The question is: why wouldn't I?
Robert Ramsey, Associate Editor
Fast travelling in big open world games to me is like denying yourself the point of playing an open world game. I get that a lot of players don't have the time to walk, run, or sprint from one side of the map to the other, but I'd argue that you're missing out on a lot of the fun; you're missing out on one of the most meaningful aspects of open world design.
Let's take a look at Bethesda titles, for starters. If I fast travelled everywhere in Fallout 4, I'd miss out on a ton of random events and crazy stuff. Some of the most unbelievable things that I've seen in the Commonwealth have happened while I've just been wandering from one place to the next. I've seen Deathclaws duking it out, only for an entire Brotherhood of Steel platoon to land and start pumping them full of lasers. The fight got so chaotic that a Super Mutant raiding party caught a whiff of combat and came over to say hello. It's dynamic stuff like this that you don't see if you just leap from one location to the next.
It's about immersion, too, of course. If I'm playing The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Geralt's got to gallop across the map to complete a monster hunting contract, riding there is part of the experience for me – the journey can and usually will enhance the feeling that you're on a grand quest. Setting off early in the morning, navigating an old, worn path on the way to a horrible beast's lair, and then fighting it as the sun goes down is what it's all about. I feel like I'm part of a game's world when I'm happily exploring it – not when I'm looking at a loading screen.
Have I ever fast travelled in a game? Of course I have, but only when a quest has forced me to go halfway across the game's world and then back again. I think a big part of all of this is how invested you are in the experience, and how good the game world's design is. If you're presented with a map that's got next to nothing in it, you're going to be tempted to fast travel because walking back and forth between key areas becomes tedious. But with open world games now being as advanced as they are, I'd much rather get an eyeful of what the developer has put so much effort into creating.
Do you fast-travel whenever you're given the opportunity, or do you manually travel everywhere in big open world games? Pick a side in the poll, and then share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Do you generally fast travel in open world games? (110 votes)
- Yes, of course – only crazy people walk everywhere67%
- No way, man – it’s more fun making your own way33%
Please login to vote in this poll.
For the purposes of fairness - and to be completely clear - the poll (and article) is about what action you're more likely to take. I'm not a stranger to taking a trek, while @ShogunRok does sometimes fast travel. However, he's more likely to manually travel everywhere, while I'm more likely to teleport.
You're voting on which you're more likely to do, too.
I tend to walk around to begin with until I've explored the area then I fast travel pretty much all the time...games are long enough now without walking everywhere!
EDIT: By the way, I like how this article is constructed with the 2 opposing views.
Of course - with one exception, Just Cause 3. Never felt the need to fast travel in that one. Go figure.
depends on my mood if i'm just trying to do the story then yes i do but if want to relax then i like to take in the view
Generally I try not to fast travel, because that way you're more likely to run into new areas or find secrets.
That being said, there are some occasions where I need to be the other side of the map and I simply don't feel like getting there myself.
More likely to walk though, so I'm siding with @ShogunRok on this one.
Yeah I like a bit of fast travel. Actually the only game I didn't use it in, which I could have done, was Red Dead, as someone told me you couldn't and I didn't bother checking otherwise and didn't find out by chance until the end. So yeah that game took me a while to complete.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Everybody's Gone to the Raptures fast travel system.
I try to avoid sandbox games, but when I do get the urge to play one fast travel is a must
I'm with Ramsey on this one. I like to role play a little in my open world games so walking/riding/sailing/flying is all part of the immersion for me. I will fast travel if time is short but primarily I'm a wanderer.
If an open world game needs fast travelling it means that something doesn't work. I loved how MGS 5 masked it with the cardboard boxes delivery system! Fast travelling in Fallout 4 should be considered a crime!
Definitely more fun making your own way and that's the way I would play games in an ideal world, but with time constraints I have to fast travel these days.
Finished The Witcher 3 recently but if I hadn't fast travelled would probably still be playing it for a few months yet!
Having said that it does depend on how fun the game is to play. Some I don't fast travel in much, others all the time...
@Neolit Yeah man, RDR was the best to explore. Didn't fast travel in that once I don't think...
I don't like to fast travel in games unless I need to but on my first save my settlement was all the way up at the top of the map in Covenant. I had to fast travel a fair bit to drop all my Sh*t of, but I was always holding of doing it by finding shops or usually being abit of a crackhead with Buffout and drinking whatever alcohol I could get hold of because sorting all my plunder took forever when I finally got back.
Depends how good the world is I didn't fast travel in Witcher 3 or Fallout 4 in recent playthroughs
I don't use fast travel I want to see everything, when going to a main mission I'll see something or something will happen. A hour later I am no where near where I was going, & done some random stuff & found stuff & had a great time. I believe if I used fast travel I would have never of seen or done half the stuff I've done, for me this half the fun of an open world game.
It depends on my mood, and sometimes the game. I agree with Robert that it does help immersion a lot, but sometimes I just want to get a quest done and don't feel like making the travel. I'm completely split on the two.
However, should I decide to play it again, I'm always using fast travel in Skyrim whenever I can. Why? Well, there's these adorable, cute little critters called Frostbite Spiders that always ALWAYS jump me from nowhere and kill me, due to my bad fear of spiders and raging paranoia, I'm definitely minimising my encounters with them.
The only game I can recall that I played that had a fast travel system was World of Warcraft. And honestly it depended on my mood, how far I had to travel, and how much time I had to play.
@Neolit Agreed, Red Dead was the nuts
Il use it from time to time, but this is also why games with plenty of sidequests is a must. Its also how on some games I will burn myself out however, with the sound track being very important in keeping me immersed. The witcher for example has a great soundtrack, but some of it is jarring enough that I will stop straying off the beaten path and instead just start fast travelling. This I think is where the elder scrolls series shines, it's soundtrack through and through makes me lose complete track of time, thus I wind up just wandering aimlessly for hours and hours.
**just also wanted to throw mass effect in there as well, not open world, but there is no way I spend hours probing planets without that music.**
Its very difficult to vote as it really depends on the game, the environments, the quest I am on etc etc. I can't even put a percentage to it.
If the world is 'empty' between point A and point B, I am trying to finish a 'quest' quickly and/or my time is limited or my 'health' is low and more risk of 'dying' then I am much more likely to fast travel. However if the world is more full and presents more opportunity to unlock more quests, find more items, waypoints, looks great etc then I am more likely to manually travel. I certainly wouldn't fast travel 'generally' between 2 points IF I have not travelled the path between them before - for example if I travel West from point A to point B then North to point C, I am more likely to travel South-East back to point A manually.
Its very situational and certainly not a Black and White answer. I don't think I favour 1 over the other either. Most waypoints need to be unlocked by manually reaching them anyway but so I guess manually travelling probably gets a bit more use overall but I know I have used and benefit from Fast Travelling a lot too - When I need supplies or particularly in latter stages of games when I want to tie up loose ends before progressing with the main 'story'
For me, it all depends on what mood I'm in. If I feel the need to get through a specific quest, then I'm focused on that and am not really looking to fast travel.. Otherwise I'm like "oooh, that's shiny, what's that about!", or, I just want to take in the landscape and see what adventures I can find. For Skyrim I definitely tended more towards just going out and exploring than I do for Fallout 4 - but that's obviously a subjective thing.
I prefer to not fast travel. Like Robert said, I enjoy when I see events happening when you travel the route where you get to bask in the image of the game. I usually go by foot and land, occasionally by sea if I have no other choice. Fast travel is good if you want to complete the next objective quickly. I wander around in games seamlessly seeing what the game has to offer that is not immediately known.
In Just Cause 3, the "fast travel" route is by air. I only conveniently use a helicopter or plane if I need to get to the next island and there are no boats available near me. You can cause a heap of destruction and chaos for the fun of the game by latching another vehicle, person, or animal to the car and drive to your destination and add to the chaos by the attached object hitting everything in its path.
I feel you become more immersed in the game when you do not fast travel.
I fast travel when available. Surprisingly, I'm looking forward to the upcoming Fallout 4 survival mode with the option disabled. It's just time for me, I guess.
I almost never fast travel. It defeats the entire idea of open world. Why not just put your 'open world' game into missions and segments?
It's not about the destination, it's about the journey and your personal growth through the hardships you encounter.
Games are still not dynamic enough to go from point A to point B 10 times and something happening! Besides seeing the same thing over and over gets boring after a while
Depends on my mood. I rarely fast travel on a first play through though.
I agree with Robert on this, I always walk travel manually because I love the journey, and you can always find random events
I'll only start using fast travel once I have discovered pretty much every location. Me and a friend both purchased Skyrim at the same time and we also played it together while in a party. He was round my house one day and wanted to see what I had discovered within my world. After around 100hrs of play time he saw my world map, weapon, amour collection and he couldn't believe how much I had compared to his character. I'd discovered over 200 locations aswell as some top weapons, amour, Dragon Souls and Shouts etc. If I had of used fast travel I would have missed so much.
I like the random stuff that happens in fallout 4 but there just isn't enough of it, even in fallout 4, to warrant me walking all over.
Over 100 hours into XCX - halfway thru Chpt 11 then it got late - and I fast travel. All. The. Time.
Even w/ the flying skell. There is so much to do in every quadrant, which I di dall I couldl before even starting to really get into the mai story, I can' timagine how long it would take to do every side mission adn find every "reasure" w/ oit. I'm not sure how long it would take to 100% that game, or if it is even possible, but I thikn at least 500 hour sw/o fast travel. And who has that?
I'd be really incredibly impressed w/ anybody who completed the main story in XCX w/o ever using fast travel. And it's the best world I've ever played in, even if most of the music is horrible garbage and makes me really not want to fly,I avoid it when I can. My wife is still marveling about how great it looks though, and we'v seen nearly ever inch many times.
To me fast travel is very important, I'm no longer a teenager and I don't live to play video games (sadly), and even if I did there are a lot of games to play and not enough time to play then all, specially if I keep walking seen the same stuff in a game that I already did it.
The Witcher III keeps me walking for a long time, but in the end I did used fast travel. Fallout 4, I did after...10 hours in the game seen the same stuff, man fallout 4 is so repetitive.
That said there's a game that I'm not even a huge fan (while I like it), that the travel is just fun as the game itself, GTAV, you pick a nice bike, turn on your favorite radio and roll, it's really good, almost good as GTA San Andreas' travels!
@AFCC I completely agree on that one and for me it takes to long. In Skyrim i used it a lot.
It I can't be bothered or don't have the time, fast travel. If I can be bothered and/or do have the time, journey.
Where's my both option?
In assassins creed games never fast travel. In most other games will fast travel unless there is a good benefit from walking. Dragons Dogma although a great game made fast travel difficult and so lots of walking which I did find frustrating. Especially when either getting stuck out in the wilderness at night or having to battle lots of foes when you just wanted to get to the destination. They say its the journey that counts but sometimes I am happy just to skip that and get there. ESO use it all the time otherwise I would never get anything done.
Ain't nobody got time to walk everywhere.
But seriously, it depends on the game. For Shadow of Mordor and Dark Souls, I'd always fast-travel because it's not like you'll stumble across that many random or unexpected things. However, if we're talking about Skyrim or Dying Light (just started playing through this one), I really enjoy not having to fast-travel between locations because I know I'll stumble across surprises along the way that can't be missed. However, if we're talking about traveling back and forth down a similar path or going all the way across a world's map, there's NO way I'm going to travel all of that distance. So I guess I take a middle ground here. I enjoy taking in the scenery and maintaining the open world immersion when I have to travel short and medium distances to my objectives. But since I'm short for time, I will break that once in a while if I know a long journey will prove more lethargic than adventurous. For example, in MGSV, I'll travel halfway around the maps if there are other objectives nearby, because I might encounter a base that has soldiers with high-rankings along the way. But if it's all across the map? Like, over 2000 meters away? You know I'm calling in that helicopter and just redeploying in a closer spot.
I know people who refuse to fast travel I don't do it but I respect their choice they're the ones who discover the secrets I'll miss.
@FullbringIchigo Agree with this. Generally to start a game I want to walk around and scop the sites, after my character is power levelled and nigh on unbeatable, fast travel becomes a necessity lol.
It depends on the game for me, a few have mentioned Red Dead on which I never fast travelled because that game was too damned good even when just riding a horse. I did on the Witcher because it's just too big and I have on Fallout but only to dump junk and when survival mode hits I won't be fast travelling
It's a balance. In RPGs, especially, if you just fast travel everywhere sometimes you can become under-leveled because you've just skipped all the potential EXP. But if you ask me, games typically go a pretty good job of making fast-travel points a matter of convenience and not a way to miss content.
I hate Xenoblade Chronicles X (seriously, go play the original) but I have to admit that fast travel is done pretty nicely in there. You have to actually travel on foot to set up the probes that allow you to fast travel, and once you do that you also get information on what secret areas or extra missions might be around the area. Because of that, you always kind of know what there is to do around and area, and thus fast traveling hither and yon doesn't really feel like too big a risk.
I noticed too, in the beta for The Division, that yes--You can fast travel from point to point, or even to a player. But that map also shows all the events and side-quests taking place around the area. So generally, you can see before you fast travel whether walking to a point would be a profitable experience or a general waste of time.
Different games have different answers to the question, I feel.
no because that's ridiculous and ruins the exploration aspect. fast travels are lame.
I usually travel on foot from place to place to stay immersed in the game. That said, I have on occasions fast-travelled if my objective is back where I've just been, or somewhere I keep getting sent back and forth across.
Yes I loves me some fast travel
@rjejr I started fast travelling about 30 hours in. Depends, Basic Missions/Affinity Missions tend to involve less of it, especially if a new party member joins I want to raise their affinity and levels. Plus in a new region (And god they are massive) I tend to walk a lot, grab items, battle some indigens/xenos and get good mileage out of my Skell to take on tougher opponents and even tyrants when the levels are good.
I remember playing Skyrim on the PS3 and I decided to just journey ahead instead of fast traveling. The result: Me running across, just about, the entire map, trying to get away from a dragon who would not leave me alone. That will be one of the most memorable moments to me in gaming just because of how epic (and kind of scary) that chase was. However, I know the PS3 version had a plethora of bugs and glitches, so that might have been one of them. Quick traveling is convenient and wastes a lot less time, but going on an adventure is just pure fun and random.
Back when I played Everquest a lot, I used to like taking the ship to other parts of the world. It made it feel like a large place, and also made it seem more "real" if that makes sense. Ever since then, I've always found walking around to be so much more immersive that I rarely fast travel. You notice so much more of the environments that the developers spent all that time creating for us when you walk around (or run and jump, as the case may be...looking at you Zelda games). Also, as someone already mentioned, when you always trudge through the wilderness, it's a good way to make sure you gain XP in many RPGs.
That said, I'll fast travel in a heartbeat if I get forced to do fetch quests that require a lot of backtracking.
It really depends on the game. The traversal in Ass Creed was fun for the first couple years, but the worlds are huge and the missions are so far apart that I fast travel as much as possible.
On the other hand, the wingsuit is better than sex so I don't fast travel anywhere in Just Cause 3.
@kyleforrester87 Everybody's Gone to the Raptures fast travel system.
What the hell is this? No one told me about this and I need it now!
I'm siding with @get2sammyb fast travel in fallout. Walking is for chumps and people who cant afford the bus.
@themcnoisy nah no fast travel system really, just put that in to wind you up haha
I will walk everywhere!
@Number_6 Thanks for the nightmare reminder of falling off the boat in Everquest.
Once I'm 20 or 30 hours into a game and covering the same ground I'll happily fast travel. I do feel a little guilty about it, but hey, there's only so many hours in a day. And only so many drowners I can be bothered to hack apart.
Never fast traveled anywhere in Red Dead Redemption though. Many I loved riding around in that game. The light, the music, the scenery. Just incredible.
I do fast travel - no "open world" - maybe except GTA - was ever "worth" the time of manually walking for me
After a few hrs in the game its all too samey and uninteresting to me, even The Witcher 3 or Fallout 4 to name two latest huge open world games didnt manage to raise my interest to explore and travel on my own foot
I dont think its me missing out on "crucial open world experience" tbh, in fact its more the developers fault in not creating an interesting-enough world to explore - most things in open world games are just time fillers and totally samey
I initially walked everywhere in fallout 4 and entered buildings I discover along the way. But I soon realised that clearing locations before you are actually given a quest to do so was pointless. There aren't many interesting things to discover and being given a quest that you've already cleared all seemed a bit pointless.
I'll explore the whole map if I can, but it depends on the game. In Red Dead, I think I did ride everywhere because I loved it. In the Far Cry games, when I cam trying to collect every darn item then I will fast travel, provided I have been to that area of the map before.
It comes down to time as well. If I only have an hour to play and I want to achieve something, wandering and getting involved in things that spawn on the way can distract and limit game progress.
I voted for walking, but in truth I am more closer to 50/50. The best walking game so far for me would be Witcher 3, especially in forests. Walking through dense forest has this ominous feel too it and for good reason. I often came across a high level monsters, half of which I had to run away from and remember to come back when I am higher level. I also stumbled upon a few caves by just walking and found some great loot. My main reason for fast travel is if I have traversed the same path multiple times or I am not found of the particular quest.
The only game I really use fast travel is for Assassin's Creed mainly to get the collectables.
dragons dogma imo desperately needed fast travel. game was bliss except for all that trekking. would had given it 9/10. but 8/10 for wasting my time!
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